How are cranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a history and physical exam. Often, the doctor will examine your nose with an endoscope. Your doctor may also ask you to lean forward for several minutes to see if drainage comes out your nose. If the drainage can be collected, it is often sent for laboratory testing to confirm that it is cerebrospinal fluid. Your ears will also be examined. One or more of the following other tests may be ordered to determine the location of the leak as well as changes in structures and features in the brain or spinal cord area:
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs)
- Lumbar puncture (to measure the pressure and amount of CSF)